Intended for healthcare professionals


Proposed US stroke centres under fire for planned use of alteplase

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 31 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:247
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    Federal legislation to designate US hospitals as “stroke centres” only if they can administer alteplase within three hours from onset of symptoms is causing concern among doctors who question the drug's efficacy.

    The opponents also say the plans are an attempt to short-circuit a scientific debate that should be settled by doctors, not politicians.

    The Stroke Treatment and Ongoing Prevention Act, which is due to be considered by Congress, would authorise $165m (£101m; €144m) in 2003 and about $125m a year through to 2008 to establish the specialist stroke centres.

    The American Heart Association has launched a campaign telling the public to call the emergency number if they have symptoms of a stroke and another directed at …

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